The most common complaints patients make to their health care providers involves pain of some type. Several treatment options are available to suit each patient’s individual needs.
The North Mississippi Medical Center Pain Institute is a comprehensive program to treat patients with painful conditions. We use cutting-edge technology and involve several disciplines to provide a specialized, comprehensive treatment plan for each patient. Our goal is to manage pain to help patients regain their quality of life and improve function and mobility.
Conditions We Treat
The NMMC Pain Institute treats many different types of chronic pain, which include:
- Neck and back pain (before or after surgery)
- Continuing muscle pain accompanied by cramping, soreness, swelling and muscle spasms or stiffness
- Joint pain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Nervous system disorders
- Spinal problems such as herniated discs
The first step in adequately treating or alleviating pain is to pinpoint the cause. To ensure patients are referred to the appropriate provider, a mid-level practitioner (nurse practitioner or physician assistant) will start with a triage process. The provider will examine medical records and histories, examine patients, identify and diagnose ailments, suggest treatment options and refer to the appropriate specialist for treatment when appropriate.
Sometimes a combination of treatments is the most effective way to treat pain. The NMMC Pain Institute offers several treatments that may be used together to most effectively treat your pain, including:
Although opiate pain medications have numerous side effects, our providers understand there is an important role for the use of opiates to manage pain. We do not believe that opiates should be the primary or sole treatment for any pain condition. Rather, they should be used in the smallest doses necessary in addition to other non-opiate medications, procedures, therapy, surgery,and counseling.
We do not prescribe these medications casually and we do not prescribe these to every patient we see. Some patients may have medical or social histories that may put them at a higher risk for addiction and abuse with narcotics.
As part of a comprehensive pain management program, medications can
be used to help reduce pain. Some of these medications include:
- NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories)
- Muscle relaxants
- Neuropathic medications such as Lyrica or Neurontin
We work closely with patients to monitor compliance with medications utilizing narcotic agreements, pill counts and urine drug screens.
Surgical intervention for chronic pain should be used after other, non-surgical approaches have been attempted. When other efforts are ineffective, NMMC neurosurgeons offer minimally-invasive brain and spine procedures.
Our board-certified neurosurgeons work closely with the other pain management disciplines, including rehabilitation, medication management and physical medicine, to help reduce your pain.
Outpatient Rehabilitation Services
- Aquatic therapy is ideal for patients with arthritis, chronic pain, fibromyalgia or sports injuries. By eliminating the effects of gravity on the body, the stress on muscles and joints is greatly
- Dry needling is used to treat dysfunctions in soft tissue to diminish persistent pain.
- Occupational therapists can help chronic pain patients by evaluating the
pain’s impact on a patient’s desired activities and quality of life, and equip him or her with the skills and strategies to manage the pain.
- Physical therapists play an important role in managing chronic pain by
administering treatments that include strengthening and flexibility exercises, manual therapy, posture awareness and body mechanics instruction. Physical therapists can also help the patient to understand the underlying cause of their pain.
Pain Management Procedures
We utilize the guidelines provided by the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians, The American Board of Pain Medicine, and the Spine Intervention Society.
Our pain management doctors are trained and proficient in the most effective methods of pain management. With board certifications, decades of experience working on a variety of pain management techniques, our physicians are able to offer patients a variety of interventional pain procedures including the latest therapies and technologies.
- Nerve blocks. When pain is localized to a particular area of the body, a nerve block may be useful. A nerve block is an injection of nerve-numbing substance that blocks the nerve transmission of pain before it can reach the brain. These can be used for pain in the face, neck, chest, abdomen, spine, pelvis, arms and legs.
- Trigger point injections. Trigger point injections are used to treat painful areas of muscle that have knots of muscle that do not relax. A small needle is inserted into the trigger point with a local anesthetic or saline, and may contain a corticosteroid.
To treat pain effectively, you must address the physical, emotional and psychological aspects. Understanding and managing thoughts, emotions and behaviors that accompany pain can help patients cope more effectively, and even reduce the pain. NMMC offers a dedicated psychologist who cares for chronic pain patients. He collaborates with other health care professionals to help address all aspects of pain. A psychologist can help patients develop new ways to think about problems, including pain. A psychologist can also help patients make lifestyle changes that allow them continue to work and participate in recreational activities.
To help you manage your pain, we also make referrals to other providers when appropriate, including:
Regional Pain Consultants at Longtown Medical Park is affiliated with North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo. Neither Pain Management Center of North Mississippi nor George Hammitt, M.D., are affiliated with North Mississippi Medical Center.